Kim Il Sung in the Khrushchev Era: Soviet-DPRK Relations and the Roots of North Korean Despotism, 1953-1964

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Stanford University Press, 2005 - History - 343 pages
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Concentrating on the years 1953-64, this history describes how North Korea became more despotic even as other Communist countries underwent de-Stalinization. The author’s principal new source is the Hungarian diplomatic archives, which contain extensive reporting on Kim Il Sung and North Korea, thoroughly informed by research on the period in the Soviet and Eastern European archives and by recently published scholarship.

Much of the story surrounds Kim Il Sung: his Korean nationalism and eagerness for Korean autarky; his efforts to balance the need for foreign aid and his hope for an independent foreign policy; and what seems to be his good sense of timing in doing in internal rivals without attracting Soviet retaliation. Through a series of comparisons not only with the USSR but also with Albania, Romania, Yugoslavia, China, and Vietnam, the author highlights unique features of North Korean communism during the period. Szalontai covers ongoing effects of Japanese colonization, the experiences of diverse Korean factions during World War II, and the weakness of the Communist Party in South Korea.

  

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Contents

Arisen from Ashes
35
Crisis and Confrontation
62
A Challenge to the Leader
85
Chdllima and Repression
113
Breezes of Reform
136
Defying the Kremlin
174
The Matrix of North Korean Despotism
210
Notes
267
Bibliography
323
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Page 325 - HAN, Pyo Wook. The Problem of Korean Unification: A Study of the Unification Policy of the Republic of Korea, 1948-1960.
Page 330 - From Fascism to Communism: Continuity and Development of Collectivist Economic Policy in North Korea.

About the author (2005)

Balázs Szalontai is Research Associate at the Institute for International Education, Seoul.

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